Thursday, August 20, 2009

Training camp report: Bishop Maginn High School

Bishop Maginn senior running back Tymear Mallory runs through a drill during the first week of practice at the high school. (Photo by Tom Killips - The Record).

When you arrive at a Bishop Maginn practice, it's hard to think that they are a Class A school.
Longtime coach Joe Grasso said his numbers are bad every year and from a school with only 250 or so kids, that's to be expected, but the practice I was at they had fewer than 30 players for BOTH varsity and JV.
Grasso said the offensive will be mainly a running attack and probably revolve around seniors Tymear Mallory and Josh Panasik.
Grasso said the offensive line has a chance to be as good as last year's and they have decent size and good quickness as a team.
"Defensively, we have a lot of athletes who can run and they're aggressive kids," Grasso said. "I think we'll be pretty good on defense, although you lose some pretty darn good kids that are hard to replace."
The biggest challenge for the Golden Griffins will be replacing Bunduka Kargbo at quarterback.
Last year, he was an electric player on offense and defense and Grasso said that finding someone to play QB is one of the main focuses of preseason camp.
I had a chance to speak with Mallory and he is very excited for the new season, hoping the team can build off of a trip to the Super Bowl last year.
As far as scheduling, Bishop Maginn has it tough. They play at Amsterdam to start and have games at Niskayuna (who just dropped down to Class A) and against Troy (who is always tough).
Grasso said the competition is as ripe as ever in the A's.
"There haven't been too many weak sisters on the Class A schedule over the last five or six years that we've done this," Grasso said. "Every year, it seems like one team is real good and pulling away from the pack and that's kind of what Burnt Hills did last year, but I think we were right there with them."
It'll be nearly impossible to run off a record like last year, but a playoff spot is certainly a possibility for the Griffins this season.

Note: This post is written by Andrew Santillo, who is helping out with our 48-page high school football 2009 preview section, which is set to hit the newsstands on Thursday, Sept. 3.

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